Totchos (Tater Tot Nachos) with Cheese Sauce, Charred Tomato Salsa, Chorizo, and Pickled Jalape\u00f1os

The ultimate nachos made with Tater Tots in place of corn chips, topped with gooey cheese sauce, charred tomato salsa, crisp chorizo, and fresh vegetables. [Photographs: J. Kenji Lopez-Alt]

There are some mashups so gut-wrenchingly glorious, so decadently delicious, so damn greasy, that they deserve to be tasted, tested, improved, written about, modified, expanded, contracted, broken down, reassembled, broken down again, and possibly reassembled (after lunch) until they've finally emerged in their ultimate form. Totchos--that'd be Tater Tots dressed like nachos with gooey cheese sauce, charred tomato salsa, crisp chorizo, and fresh vegetables--definitely are.

Just like you can make or break a sandwich depending on how you stack it, proper layering is essential in constructing the perfect tray of totchos. Layer your tots and ingredients so that every tot is evenly gooped, from the first to the last.

About the author: J. Kenji Lopez-Alt is the Chief Creative Officer of Serious Eats where he likes to explore the science of home cooking in his weekly column The Food Lab. You can follow him at @thefoodlab on Twitter, or at The Food Lab on Facebook.

Every recipe we publish is tested, tasted, and Serious Eats-approved by our staff. Never miss a recipe again by following @SeriousRecipes on Twitter!

Totchos (Tater Tot Nachos) with Cheese Sauce, Charred Tomato Salsa, Chorizo, and Pickled Jalapeños

About This Recipe

Yield:Serves 6 to 8
Active time:30 minutes
Total time:1 hour
Special equipment:Deep fryer, wok, or Dutch oven, blender or food processor
This recipe appears in: Pantry Essentials: All About Salsa Tater Tots x Nachos = Totchos


  • 6 medium tomatoes, divided
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 small white or yellow onion, peeled and split
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, split in half
  • 2 cups fresh cilantro leaves and fine stems, divided
  • 1 tablespoon juice from 1 lime
  • 4 ounces Spanish or Mexican chorizo, finely diced
  • 2 quarts peanut oil
  • 1 (28 ounce) package Tater Tots or mini Tater Tots
  • 1 recipe Gooey Cheese Sauce
  • 1 small red onion, finely diced
  • 4 scallions, thinly sliced


  1. 1

    Preheat broiler to high. Finely dice 1 tomato and toss with a pinch of salt and pepper. Place in a fine mesh strainer set over to a bowl to drain. Set aside while you prepare the salsa.

  2. 2

    Split remaining tomatoes in half and place on a foil-lined broiler pan or rimmed baking sheet. Add garlic, onion, and jalapeño. Broil until completely tender and well blackened on top side, about 25 minutes. Transfer all vegetables to a blender or food processor and add 1 1/2 cups of fresh cilantro and lime juice. Blend until smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper and allow to cool. Set aside.

  3. 3

    Place chorizo in a small skillet and place over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until browned and crisp, about 4 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate to drain.

  4. 4

    Heat peanut oil in a deep fryer, wok, or Dutch oven and cook Tater Tots according to package directions, working in batches and keeping them warm in a 200°F oven if necessary. Season to taste with salt.

  5. 5

    Place half of Tater Tots on a large serving platter and top with half of salsa, cheese sauce, chorizo, drained tomatoes, red onions, scallions, and remaining cilantro. Top with remaining tots and remaining toppings. Serve immediately


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